motographite: YAMAHA XJR 1300 “DARK WISDOM”;background-attachment:fixed;background-position:50% 50%;background-repeat:no-repeat no-repeat;">



Here the presentation letter arrived with this XJR, sent by its owner.

The story behind the build is pretty straight forward: my emphasis was on the design and ergonomics. I really like these modern, big, retro-styled machines with grungy engines. I am not a wheelie man.

Yamaha has done a great job mechanically, but the styling was a bit off from what I’d ideally like to look at and ride. I like cafe racers and street trackers, but I was born too late to live Cafe Racer spirit and the xjr1300 would be hard to fit into any of those categories.. and, honestly, it would not make much sense. Motorbike is probably the most personal machine and I had to find different lines for it.

I got this xjr late last spring. It was a stunning bike, well looked after. I brought it home and burned the fuel and the tires for a couple of weeks to figure out the main changes: it had to be lower ride, shorter, but be able to take my girlfriend on the back as well and be very comfortable. Hard call…

I started by taking things off which i did not need: removing all the plastic panels. I cut up the tail panel and the stock seat to make mould for the new seat unit with integrated tail lights. I had to modify the tank to take clip ons. I used good old hammering technique to do that and a lot of measuring. I made side panels, got a new headlight, adjustable clip-ons, adjustable steering damper, digital speedo to replace the bulky stock gauges.

The ride is fantastic now: shaved off some weight and the centre of gravity is lower due to the lower seating position. I can choose between a range of handlebar positions: from low cafe racer to quite a high rise, sort of street tracker position. The bike is much leaner, more nimble, has improved cornering and its still very comfy as the xjr1300 should be.

As I mentioned, mechanically the xjr1300 is a perfect machine for me, so the only main concern was to properly service it: oils, filters, brakes, steel brake lines etc.
that’s when skilled friends come in handy.
My mechanical mentor is Simon, he a fantastic mechanic, probably best in town and at the time he worked for Yamaha.



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